The Last Mercy of a True Friend

Avatar Author: Robert Quick A no-name, aspiring author who can't stop writing. Looking ahead, he strives for perfection. Shackled by various forms of entertainment, he dreams of success. Most stories here are an invitation to YOU, to join me in cre... Read Bio

The corrupt vessel emerged from the over-sized cauldron, its defiled form a grotesque mockery of a human being. It stood taller now, bones had been relocated, some stretched outright. Puffy flesh, reminiscent of maggots, clung here and there, acting as a spongy carapace. Faces were an unnecessary vanity here and only the vaguest hints remained.

One halting step after another, it began to adjust to its new form. In a few hours it would be nearly unstoppable.

If I hadn’t watched it all, I never would have guessed that that was once my friend.

When the Corpse Rider stopped in our village to collect upon ancient debts, Philippe had not hid well enough and the village had had no choice but to turn him over to the Rider as partial payment.

I followed his screams to this unholy place, carrying only a simple hatchet for we owned no weapons.

The first blow caught him offguard. He whirled to face me and upon recognizing me, his face softened.

“Thank you.” He croaked.

I set my jaw and finished the job.

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Comments (4 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Raymond Finn

    Nice. Makes a change from similarly themed zombie stories. This one is almost Lovecraftian, (in the sense of the formless horror) except that I usually associate cauldrons with Faerie’s ( or Elves in the Pratchett sense of the word.)

    I’ve never heard the phrase Corpse Rider before either, but Google has enough hits on it to make me wonder if it’s some country legend I haven’t come across before.

  2. Avatar Mostly Harmless

    That opening paragraph is grotesquely gorgeous!

    I like the real helplessness here, the fact that clearly there is nothing he can do BUT kill him – also, obviously the character knew Philippe well enough in life to know this is what he would have wanted… One heck of a friend!

    Original and well-told – good work! MH :)

  3. Avatar The Third Robot

    Ray and MH say it best. Your stories are entertaining and original and your eye for detail leaves me envious. Keep it up.

  4. Avatar thelostgirl

    Awesome. I love this piece.

    Thank you for entering :)